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The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society #01)by Trenton Lee Stewart
Synopses & Reviews
Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.
"Stewart's (Flood Summer, for adults) first book for young people begins with a bang. Gifted 11-year-old orphan Reynie Muldoon is sharing the newspaper with his tutor when she excitedly points out an ad: 'Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?' She encourages him to take the series of tests cited in the ad, and the entire process resembles the otherworldly experience of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with puzzles within puzzles and tests within tests — some mental, some ethical, some physical. Ultimately three children pass the first test and go on to the next: Reynie, Sticky (born George) Washington and Kate Wetherall — all of them essentially orphans. A fourth, the 'very, very small' Constance Contraire, joins them later, and Mr. Benedict describes why he has brought them together. Initially, readers — like the four children — may be unsure of what to think about this mysterious gent: Is he hero or villain? Mr. Benedict has recruited them to foil an evil plan, devised by a mysterious 'Sender,' to brainwash the population via secret messages — delivered by children — embedded in television and radio programs. The plot-driven novel follows many adventures among the four, whose unique talents all come into play; readers will likely warm to each of them. A couple of concluding twists involving Kate and Connie may throw readers a bit, but these do not detract from the book's entertainment value or from the author's sound overall structure. Though the book is lengthy, readers will likely enjoy getting lost in this fully imagined realm. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure." School Library Journal
"With its lively style, fresh character portrayals, and well-timed revelations, this story flies past, thrilling us as it goes. Just be sure your flashlight batteries are well charged." Horn Book Magazine
"The characters are well developed, mostly appealing, and evenhanded. Ellis's line drawings add a crowning flair. Do not miss this one. Buy two copies because they will be needed." VOYA
"[A] feel-good story with a happy ending for the four orphaned and runaway children who find friendship and family." Children's Literature
"Low in physical violence, while being rich in moral and ethical issues, as well as in appealingly complex characters and comedy sly and gross, this Lemony Snicket-style outing sprouts hooks for hearts and minds both..." Kirkus Reviews
The Daand#160;Vinci Code meets Nancy Drew in this galloping middle-grade mystery about twelve-year old Colophon Letterford and the ancientand#160;treasure left to her literary publishing family.
Everyone in Remarkable is remarkable. Everyone except Jane, that is. While the rest of the town is busy being talented, gifted, or just plain extraordinary, she's never been anything but ordinary. Then Jane finds herself in school with the mischievous Grimlet twins, and her life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. And when a strange pirate captain appears in town, setting of a series of adventures that put the whole town in danger, it's up to Jane to save the day. Along the way, she might just find that she can be pretty remarkable after all.
Twelve-year-old Colophon Letterford has a serious mystery on her hands. Will she discover the link between her familyand#8217;s literary legacy and Shakespeareand#8217;s tomb before itand#8217;s too late? Antique paintings, secret passages, locked mausoleums, a four-hundred-year-old treasure, and a cast of quirky (and some ignoble) characters all add up to a fun original adventure. Readers will revel in a whirlwind journey through literary time and space in real-world locales from Mont St. Michel to Stratford-Upon-Avon to Central Park!
About the Author
Trenton Lee Stewart, graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and author of the adult novel Flood Summer, lives in Arkansas with his wife and two sons. This is his debut children's novel.
Carson Ellis received her BFA from the University of Montana and has established a loyal following for her artistic collaborations with the band the Decemberists. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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